Colocation is an internet hosting service where organizations, be it large or small can rent facilities such as network, physical space, electricity, cooling, storage facility, & physical security for their servers or IT equipment.

Colocation service provider usually owns the infrastructure facilities also termed as a datacenter which includes building, cooling systems, bandwidth, etc. which is completely maintained and managed by the service provider.

Colocation is one of the most expensive forms of hosting service it is even more expensive than managed hosting. But it is far cheaper as compared to the price incurred in managing and maintaining a complete in-house infrastructure.

Initially, organisations used to use colocation for disaster recovery purpose solely. Nowadays organizations, be it large or small usually opt for colocation for cloud services and to reduce the massive amount of CAPEX and OPEX associated with building, managing, maintaining & updating large computing facility. There are certain standards for reliability which needs to be maintained in datacenters or colocation facilities. The most common are SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type I and Type II (formerly SAS 70 Type I and Type II) and the tier system by the Uptime Institute or TIA.

Colocation Infrastructure

The Infrastructure of a datacenter is developed keeping in mind the standards since the very early site selection as in the site shouldn’t be a disaster-prone vicinity be it natural or man-made it is also suggested to select the site with lower temperature or suitable weather it helps in saving lot of energy & cost required for cooling the facility. Construction of the site such as the walls of the datacenter, the construction material used, proper insulation such as heating, ventilation & air conditioning (HVAC) standards has to be met. Excessive heat rise may result in malfunctioning of electrical and computing devices thus it is very important to have a powerful air conditioning system in place. Datacenter hosts very critical and crucial information of various companies and organizations it is the service providers responsibility to keep this data and information safe and secured from any disaster hence there also need to be a reliable fire protection system & physical security in place. Along with this, the network services &, power supply to maintain the promised uptimes, physical security, cabinets, suites, cages, racks & modules etc. used in the datacenter have to be maintained for their standards. According to the level of services and infrastructure facilities, the datacenters are further classified into different standards viz tier I, tier II, tier III etc.

Cons of Colocation Services

Colocation can be an ideal solution for some organizations but still, colocation services have its own cons. In colocation, an organization or individual hosts their IT infrastructures in the service providers infrastructure where distance can be a major problem as it creates a lot of feasibility issues and increases costs considerably. Even though the IT equipments are hosted at the service providers infrastructure but the management and maintenance of the hardware is the owner’s responsibility. Any updates or upgrades to the system or hardware have to be carried out by the owner manually even a minor change in any hardware equipment’s can cost a lot of time and money to the customer. In colocation services the customers have to get in long-term contracts hence the customer has to bare the costs even if there is a change in market rates.

The question remains, is colocation right for you? Colocation tends to be the right option for the business that has outgrown managed web hosting but is not yet large enough to make in-house web hosting and a dedicated IT department practical. Think of colocation as a compromise between managed and in-house web hosting. What does outgrowing managed hosting mean? Managed web hosting tends to force you to think within the narrow preconceptions of the industry. Once this narrowness begins to interfere with your vision, you have outgrown it.